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Have you experienced a home fire?

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Experiencing a fire in home or a fire in business is one of the most devastating things you could ever deal with in your life. With the fire damage leaving charred remains of the life you once knew, it isn't easy to be optimistic about the future. But, you must be proactive after fire damage. While the road to recovery can be difficult, knowing the right steps to take minimizes the time that it takes to get back on the right track.

Find a Restoration Company

Choosing a fire damage restoration professional who can initiate cleanup at your property is the first step in the fire cleanup process. A good restoration company has certified experts ready to clean soot and smoke damage, water damage, and remove the smoke smell after a fire in home or commercial fire damage. Professional-strength deodorizers work wonderfully for the removal of the smoke smell. Choose the best restoration company based upon their experience, expertise, pricing, and of course, their reputation. The services available is yet another important quality. Is board up service offered? Board up is recommended after a fire in home or a fire in business. Ensure that board up, soot damage removal, smoke smell removal, and smoke damage restoration are all services offered from the restoration company. With the right restoration company handling the fire cleanup process, fire damage restoration is a cinch.

Know Your Limits

As a property owner, you want to go back into the building to assess the damage and begin the fire cleanup process quickly. But, this may not be such a good idea. After commercial fire damage or a fire in home, the soot damage and smoke damage left behind bring forth their own potential issues and hazards that could make the situation much worse than it is already. Don't re-enter a building after a fire in business or your home without prior authorization from fire department officials. Remember, safety after fire damage is a top priority. Wear gloves and appropriate clothing, and don't forget the masks. The smoke smell isn't one you want to breath, and you certainly don't want to touch items with soot damage and smoke damage, which can contaminate anything else that you touch. 

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Tips for Restoring Your Life After Residential or Commercial Fire Damage

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

When and if you do re-enter the facility after a fire in home or a fire in business, remember these tips:

  • Cheese cloths are great for catching soot damage when placed over air vents
  • Throw food away that has been contaminated in the fire
  • Open the windows of the home or business if the temperature outside is above 60 degrees
  • Wipe soot damage and smoke damage off surviving houseplants
  • If board up over the windows and doors has been added, leave it in place
  • Turn the electricity to the unit off if it is not already. Electricity can contribute to additional fire damage.
  • Do not use any appliances that sustained fire damage until a fire damage restoration professional or electrician has evaluated their safety.
  • Never touch anything with your bare hands
  • Use a soft, dry cloth to remove soot damage and smoke damage from lamps, art work, etc. that you've salvaged from the fire.
  • Cover carpeting and high-traffic areas with towels or plastic to aid in fire cleanup efforts

When fire damage threatens your livelihood, whether it is a fire in business or your home, take immediate action, and get back to the life that you love. With the above tips, fire damage restoration is simple, and getting back to your old life is so much easier. Whether you've sustained residential or commercial fire damage, these tips are designed for you!

What Happens To Solar Panels During a Storm?

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Solar panels may seem delicate, but these components are designed to withstand storms without panel damage. Aluminum and glass casings provide protection for solar cells. Most high-quality panels are rated for

• Heavy rain
• Large hail
• Winds up to 140 miles per hour

Flying debris and roof damage pose the most significant risk to the integrity of these panels.

Will Panels Stay in Place?

Whether panels stay in place or not depends on the location and method of installation. Roof-mounted panels usually rely on lag bolts fastened to roof beams to ensure than panels can resist very powerful uplift forces caused by high winds and hurricanes, tropical storms, or tornadoes. Panels in other locations should be secured to withstand the most common weather events and known causes of panel damage in Cape Elizabeth, ME.

Will Panels Break?

Solar installers and repair specialists keep tabs on the causes of any damaged panels they encounter. Panels can resist one-inch hail falling at 50 miles per hour, but they may not be able to endure very heavy flying debris in the event of a hurricane or tornado. If storm conditions damage a roof, mounted panels may also become dislodged and run the risk of breaking. Solar installers keep these statistics in mind when recommending locations and methods for securing panels.

Will Panels Keep Working?

Unless a solar panel is broken, it should continue to function normally after a storm. Invest in high-quality panels that are rated for probable types of adverse weather. You may want to call a solar power expert if you suspect panels have sustained damage during a storm.

Contact a solar power retailer or installation service if you find signs of panel damage after a storm. If your home has also sustained roof damage or other damage, you should also schedule a consultation with a storm damage restoration company in Cape Elizabeth, ME.

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Maintaining and Inspecting Fire Sprinklers in Your Building

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Maintaining and Inspecting Fire Sprinklers in Your Building Testing sprinklers properly to maintain an effective commercial operation

As fire sprinklers are likely a required element of any business, it is necessary to perform routine sprinkler maintenance to ensure proper functionality and to limit the risk of premature discharge. While performing this routine maintenance, there are at least four elements you should inspect.

1. Check for Surface Damage

While inspecting your sprinkler system, you may come across areas of corrosion. This can be normal damage; however, if it is not dealt with, it can lead to a burst pipe, as rusting weakens the water line. To prevent corrosion, you should inspect your sprinkler system for any minor leaks and repair them once found.

2. Check for Parts Separation

If you come across sprinkler heads that are showing signs of separation, this can be an indication of mechanical damage. In this instance, complete separation can occur from minimal impact, resulting in an open water line and causing flooding in your building. If you notice signs of separation, you should immediately call in a professional to remedy the situation.

3. Check for Temperature Fluctuations

Fire sprinklers cannot differentiate between heat from a heating unit and heat from a fire. If the sprinklers sense a temperature above a certain level, they may be triggered. Additionally, heat is not the only thing you have to be concerned about when performing sprinkler maintenance checks, as frigid temperatures can cause freezing in the sprinkler lines, which can lead to separation and failure of the pipes. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a consistent temperature in areas where sprinklers are located and to avoid any drastic fluctuations.

4. Check for Possible Vandalism

An unfortunate need for inspection is the possibility of vandalism. Whatever the reasoning behind the vandalism, the culprit may cause significant damage to your sprinkler system that is not immediately evident, leading to a delayed event that is meant to produce the most damage possible.

As sprinkler systems are typically a requirement in Cape Elizabeth, ME, buildings, it is essential to maintain them properly to ensure their effective operation. Sprinkler maintenance does not have to be a complicated process and can be simple when you know the most common areas to check.

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How To Eliminate Plant Mildew and Mold

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How To Eliminate Plant Mildew and Mold Moldy leaves can be in your yard with excessive water on the ground and moisture in the air

Indoor plants can help purify the air inside any home in Cape Elizabeth, ME. However, overwatering, lack of sunlight and poor air circulation can make your plants susceptible to both mold and mildew. While plant mildew and mold may look unsightly, eliminating them is usually less challenging than you might think.

Moldy Leaves

Mold can infiltrate your plant’s leaves. To remedy the situation, follow these steps:

• Take the affected plant outside
• Remove mold with a wet paper towel, taking caution to avoid contaminating other areas of the plant
• Cut off moldy leaves that you cannot easily wipe down
• Spray remaining leaves with a fungicide
• Return the plant to a sunlit area with adequate air circulation

Moldy Soil

Moist soil is also a potential breeding ground for mold. To alleviate the problem, scoop off any soil surface mold. If mold growth is abundant, you may need to replant with fresh potting soil. To avoid recontamination, allow new soil to dry before re-watering the plant.

Moldy Growth

Plant mildew often appears as a white, powdery substance on the surface of leaves. To eliminate this fungus, follow these three steps:

• Wipe contaminated leaves and stems with a paper towel to remove some of the mildew
• Cut off lower infected leaves to reduce the risk of additional mildew growth
• Spray plant with a fungicide, allowing the solution to run off the leaves

To avoid damaging the plant, wait a week to reapply the treatment if the initial spray did not kill all of the mildew.

Beyond Plants

Both plant mildew and mold are usually manageable problems. Neither organism can thrive in dry environments, so reducing excessive moisture is a key prevention strategy for houseplants and your home in general. But if a burst pipe or flood causes significant water damage, don’t hesitate to contact a professional cleanup and restoration team that can help mitigate the risk of mold growth inside your home.

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4 Reasons You Should Have A Business Emergency Plan

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 4 Reasons You Should Have A Business Emergency Plan Having an Emergency Plan can help in an emergency in your Maine Business

Have you ever thought about what you would do if your business was affected by flood waters after a storm? A business continuity plan can help you prepare for the worst-case scenarios. As a business owner in Cape Elizabeth, ME, you may want to create this type of emergency plan for a number of reasons:

1. Figure out who to call. If you never think about the possibility of storm damage hurting your property, you may not know who you should call when disaster strikes. In your business plan, you can outline which insurance provider needs to be informed of any impending claims. You can even pick a commercial storm damage cleanup expert you would want to work with in this type of situation.

2. Think about how to keep business running. The continuity plan should also go over what you would do to help keep your business running. If flood waters made your building off limits, would you have to shut down until it is fixed or could you rent a temporary workspace?

3. Consider the financial impact of natural disasters. Flooding can also affect the finances of your company. Not only could you lose inventory and business, but you also have to pay for damages. When you create a business plan, it gives you a chance to make sure you have the best insurance policies for your commercial property.

4. Help you prepare employees. This type of plan can also help you think about evacuation methods. You can train employees on where to go in the event of flooding, fires or other emergencies. You can also outline who they should call if you are not around.

As a business owner, you want to be prepared for any type of situation. Creating a business continuity plan helps you think about the what-ifs associated with owning commercial property. You can become better prepared for any damages caused by storms.

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How To Clean Your Computer and Other Electronics After a Fire

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Clean Your Computer and Other Electronics After a Fire Electronic devices may be able to save after fire damage

The aftermath of an electrical fire is not pretty. Once the smoke clears and the fire department has left your business, it is time to assess the damage. There is a lot of charring, soot and smell. It’s a good thing that your sensitive electronics were protected by their metal enclosures — or were they?

You May Have More Electronic Devices Than You Think

Computer chips and circuits find themselves at the heart of an ever-widening variety of business and industrial equipment. This equipment includes an array of devices:
• Desktop and laptop computers
• Laser printers
• Scanners
• Fax machines
• Postal and parcel equipment
• Phone systems
• Computer servers
• Water coolers
• Microwave ovens
• Refrigeration equipment
• Computer-controlled machine shop devices
• 3D printers

Electronic Devices Hate Smoke, Soot and Corrosion

Electronic circuits can generate a lot of heat when they are running. Manufacturers incorporate fans into their designs to deal with this heat. If your equipment is running during a smoky fire, the fan will blow the smoke-filled air across the circuits. As the smoke passes through, it will deposit soot and microscopic particles on the circuit boards, hard drives and other components.
Soot can cause an electrical short and possibly another electrical fire. Corrosive material attaches itself to electronic components and connectors, causing an eventual failure.

Time Is Your Enemy

If you have your electronic devices checked right away, the damaging agents can be removed with little or no residual effect. As time passes, the cleanup becomes more difficult. Eventually, the device fails, and cleanup becomes unnecessary. Some cleanups will be difficult; however, desktop computer cleanup is relatively easy because of the easily accessible components.

There is no reason to wait, especially if you are concerned about your most expensive equipment. Locate a fire restoration specialist in Cape Elizabeth, ME, and find out for sure if that equipment is at risk from the electrical fire. A little planned downtime and expense now is better than a lot of unplanned downtime and expense later.

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What To Do Before Your Adjuster Arrives

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What To Do Before Your Adjuster Arrives Flooding in your Maine home can cause huge damages after a severe storm

Flooding in your home in Cape Elizabeth, ME, can be expensive to resolve. Your homeowner’s insurance is designed to help you cover it, but to get the settlement you need, you must take several steps. A home adjuster visits your home to examine the damage and decide how much your claim is worth. Here are a few things to do before the adjuster arrives that may maximize your payout.

Document the Damage

Your adjuster is going to walk through your home and assess the damage. Ideally, you would be able to trust this assessment, but it is helpful to document the damage on your own so that you have something to compare with the adjuster's observations. Your documentation should include the following items:

• Inventory of damaged items and the approximate cost of replacing them
• Photographs or videos of the damage
• List of structural damages
• Bills from emergency inspections and temporary repairs

Consult the Professionals

One of the first calls you make should be to water restoration experts. In addition to restoring your property, there are several benefits their services provide to help you with your insurance claim. They can conduct temporary repairs to keep the damage from spreading, and the itemized list of the repairs they make tells the home adjuster that you took proactive steps to minimize the problem. The proposed bid you get from the specialists can also speed up the processing of your claim adjustment.

Once you collect your lists and the itemized repair plans from the contractors, make a copy of everything so that you have it for your records. Fill out your claim correctly and completely. Detailed efficiency is the key to your success when filing a claim. The more information you can provide and the more helpful you can be to your home adjuster, the better chance you have of the insurance company honoring the claim you make.

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Can You Save Personal Items After a Flood?

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Can You Save Personal Items After a Flood? Personal belonging may be damaged after flooding in your home or business

After a flood in Cape Elizabeth, ME, you are first concerned with the structure of your home, but very quickly you realize that you still need to act on your personal belongings as well. Can you save anything that has been in a flood? While many items must be disposed of, you will be glad to know that you can save some of your personal belongings and experts are available to help you. A good professional knows you have things of a personal and meaningful nature and they want to help you save these things. A good restoration specialist also knows that saving your personal belongings can also save you money, but they will clearly communicate when something is not safe to keep or not possible to restore. Here are some factors that come into play for proper content cleaning:

• Type of material. Most restoration ability is determined by whether materials are non-porous or porous.

• Contamination exposure. The method of cleaning also depends on the type of flood exposure, such as clean water versus black water.

Restoration Techniques

Experienced professionals use a variety of techniques for content cleaning. The item may be something that can be dunked in a cleaning solution. Scrubbing may be needed or wet cleaning may be needed for items that are heavily soiled. For materials that can't take a deep cleaning, a foam or dry cleaning may be best. Some materials may be fine with a surface disinfectant and wipe down.

When to Throw Away

Sadly, content cleaning won't work for all your personal belongings and some things must be tossed. This is limited to items that truly can't be restored or that would be unsafe to keep and usually comes down to porous materials. Drywall and carpet padding are two examples of porous materials that may need tossed but working with a knowledgeable and experienced professional will save you time and money on replacing belongings.

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Understanding Home Fires and Insurance

7/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Understanding Home Fires and Insurance This home suffered from significant fire damage

A home fire at your dwelling in Cape Elizabeth, ME, is devastating. There is soot damage, smoke damage and water damage from the firefighters putting out the flames. Many of your personal belongings are lost or in need of proper cleaning. Most residential fires are covered by insurance, but some are not. The cause is crucial to determining coverage. Read below to know what is typically covered and what is not. Each individual policy is different, so be sure to confirm with your agent.

What Causes Are Usually Covered?

For most homeowner’s insurance, almost all fire types are covered under the policy, including, but not limited to the following:

• Kitchen fires are one of the main causes of residential fires. This type of fire spreads quickly and leads to significant damage.

• Failing electrical systems or appliances, especially those that are old or poorly maintained, pose a fire risk.

• The HVAC system, space heater or wood stove may ignite a house fire.

• Even though smoking rates have decreased over the past few decades, it remains a common reason for residential fires.

• External causes, such as lightning strikes and wildfires, are rare but can be a fire hazard.

When Is a Home Fire Not Covered?

There are two main causes of house fires not covered by homeowner’s insurance:

• Arson is never covered if the fire is set by the homeowner or someone acting on the homeowner’s behalf. If investigators find evidence of a fire set by the owner to collect insurance money, no damage is covered and criminal charges may be filed.

• A vacant home fire is not typically covered if it is unoccupied at the time of the fire. However, this is covered if the homeowner has an added endorsement to the policy.

When you have a home fire in Cape Elizabeth, ME, insurance coverage for fire and water damage is key to an affordable recovery. Work with your insurance adjustor and a fire restoration specialist to rebuild, replace and restore your home to pre-fire condition.

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